Report: Sixers are ‘determined’ to re-sign James Harden; Rockets remain a real possibility
With NBA free agency set to tip-off this Friday, all eyes will be on Sixers’ free-agent-to-be James Harden.
There have been numerous reports regarding the future Hall of Fame guard; some suggesting Harden will venture back to Houston and finish out his career with the Rockets, with others reporting that the guard will remain in Philadelphia. Although free agency is just days away, the outcome of Harden’s free agency bid still seems to be up in the air.
On Sunday, ESPN’s NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Sixers are “determined” to get a deal done with Harden.
Sixers reportedly want to bring Harden back
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We’ve seen similar reporting on this issue ever since the Sixers season ended about a month ago. In short, Philadelphia wants to keep Harden on a team-friendly deal, but Harden is still clearly considering all options.
Still, Harden returning to the Sixers has gained some momentum as we approach the start of free agency. And while this does feel like the most likely outcome, Sam Amick of The Athletic suggests that Houston is still a real possibility, writing:
“But even beyond the vast contrast between the state of each franchise — an established Eastern Conference power vs. the rebuilding Rockets — it’s the leverage game that makes this all so compelling. Each team, it has seemed at times, views the other as nothing more than a pawn whose main role is to help Harden get the biggest and best deal possible.
Only Harden and his inner circle truly know which way he is leaning, but a source close to him reconfirmed that the Rockets remain a serious possibility. And yes, as you may have wondered, that’s still the case with Houston deciding to add guard Amen Thompson out of the Overtime Elite program with the fourth pick (they added forward Cam Whitmore out of Villanova at No. 20 as well).“
In the end, Harden’s choice between Philadelphia and Houston will tell us everything we need to know about him. If he wants as much as money as possible and avoid scrutiny from the local media, he’ll head back to Houston. If winning a championship is the top priority, Philadelphia is the obvious choice.
Maybe there’s a third team lurking in the shadows that none of us are aware of, but it seems like Harden’s market only consists of these two teams at the moment.
We’ll learn what Harden’s true motives are in just a few days. Hang tight, Philadelphia.
Mandatory Credit: Getty Images